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Brought to you by John Sciarra, Bernard's Garage - AUTOMOTIVE INSIDER -

BERNARD'S GARAGE - John SciarraSummer's imminent arrival means your vehicle's air conditioning system will soon be under serious strain.

If your A/C isn't as frosty as it used to be, but it's still blowing cold, the system may need to be recharged.

Manufacturers used to use a type of refrigerant known as R-12, or Freon, until researchers found it caused ozone depletion. As such, it's illegal to use Freon in vehicles built after 1994. Now, manufacturers use R-134a to keep things cold in the cabin.

Working on an air conditioning system is about as much fun as sticking your hand in a blender. Twice.

Unless you are skilled in vehicle maintenance, it’s safest to take the job to a professional.

An AC compressor is usually driven by your vehicle's serpentine belt, and as it spins, it pressurizes the system's refrigerant. It's this change in pressure that cools the air coming into your cabin. The best way to keep your compressor from failing is to have your A/C system serviced once a year.

If your compressor needs replacement, most responsible shops will recommend swapping out a number of periphery components at the same time.

Why? The easy answer is working on an air conditioning system is about as fun as sticking your hand in a blender. Twice.

To avoid draining your refrigerant, removing your compressor, installing a new unit and refilling the system with new cool stuff — only to have you come back in a week and say it's still not cold enough — it makes sense to replace the necessary components.

Bernard’s Garage

2036 SE Washington St., Milwaukie



Brought to you by Mike Nielsen of Snap Fitness - FITNESS INSIDER -

SNAP FITNESS - Mike NielsenAs the inspirational saying goes, “Live less out of habit and more out of intent.”

While it’s true that starting a fitness routine can be difficult, I offer the following tips to get you in the gym door and on the road to good health.

Assessment — New SNAP Fitness clients receive a free jump-start session, including consultation with a trainer. The assessment determines the client’s baseline, helps us guide their first steps, and is an opportunity to discuss adding personal training.

Cardio — The national recommendation for exercise for all ages and fitness levels is to get to the gym at least three days per week, and to do a minimum of 30 minutes of cardio per visit. Working out with a friend will make it more fun, help you feel more accountable, help you stay at the gym for more months and achieve a higher level of success.

Strength training is key to replacing fat with muscle, becoming leaner, stronger and improving balance. Do two to three sessions of strength training per week.

Nutritional guidelines — Instead of eating three large meals per day, eat five to six small meals. This will fuel your energy throughout the day and avoid post-meal sluggishness. Also drink 96 ounces of water daily.

Online help — SNAP has a complete online nutritional program and training center. Free with membership, it provides a personalized workout plan, sample menus and a complete library of instruction videos.

Snap Fitness

Milwaukie: 4200 SE King Rd.



Oregon City: 19703 S. Hwy. 213, Ste. 170



Brought to you by Mike Nielsen - Snap Fitness - Fitness INSIDER

Mike Nielsen, Snap FitnessStrength training is an essential part of an exercise program, even for someone who hasn’t been active in a while.

Lifting weights, using weight machines and doing core work increases muscle mass and bone density.

As we age, our muscles deteriorate (called sarcopenia) and bone density decreases.

Research shows that seniors are more susceptible to bone breakage that younger adults. As people age, their metabolism slows down. We are seeing more and more seniors joining gyms.

If we take the average adult between the ages of 40 and 50 and do basic strength-training three to four times per week for 90 days, the outcome can be life-changing.

Here’s a myth-buster: Muscle does NOT weigh more than fat! A pound is a pound. 

Muscle is, however, more dense than body fat and takes up less area than fat. If you were to start an exercise program complete with strength training, you would increase your lean body mass and decrease body fat.

The body takes up less space and metabolism speeds up, resulting in a higher BMR (base metabolic rate, the amount of daily caloric intake needed to maintain LBM and weight.) This reverses sarcopenia and increases bone density.   

Not everyone walks into a gym and knows exactly what to do. Snap gives new members an opportunity to meet with a Certified Personal Trainer, who assesses their body and their goals. 

Let’s get started.

Snap Fitness

Milwaukie: 4200 SE King Rd.



Oregon City: 19703 S. Hwy. 213, Ste. 170



Brought to you by John Sciarra, Bernard's Garage - AUTO MAINTENANCE INSIDER

John Sciarra, Bernard's GarageRegular maintenance on your car is, quite simply, a good investment.

For example, when you bring your car in for a timing belt — typically needed at 90,000 to 100,000 miles— it costs in the range of $400 to $500. But if it breaks, it might be $1,800 to $2,000.

At our shop, when we do it, we do it right. With the timing belt, we also replace the timing belt tensioner, idler pulleys, camshaft seals, water pump and coolant.

Mileage interval maintenance, which is only done by shops, should be done at 30,000, 60,000 and 90,000 miles.

The ideal scenario is to get the car into the shop about three times per year for inspections, which will find things like rodent damage, which is more common than you might think. It’s mainly squirrels in this area.

An inspection will also uncover leaking coolant or oil, as well as plugged-up air filters. Once a year, you should get a brake inspection.

We do complete automotive repair, including pre-purchase inspections for $150. That’s a comprehensive inspection, which can detect unforeseen problems and save you from buying a compromised vehicle.

Our average cost for an oil change is $38; $58 for a brake inspection.

It’s a small investment. We do it properly and can save you a lot of trouble and expense down the road.

Bernard’s Garage

2036 SE Washington St., Milwaukie



Mike Nielsen - Snap Fitness - Fitness INSIDER

SNAP FITNESS - Mike Nielsen“We are a friendly, success-oriented fitness center,” says Mike Nielsen, vice president and co-owner of Snap Fitness locations in Oregon City, Milwaukie and Canby. “We’re like the ‘Cheers’ of the gym world, where everybody knows your name.”

Nielsen has been a certified fitness coach for 13 years and has been with Snap for eight years. He says being a fitness coach is all about helping individuals achieve the best version of themselves.

“It’s not just something that’s done at the gym, but it’s a lifestyle change,” he said of Snap. “We focus on not only the physical but also the mental and emotional aspects of everyday life, to make sure we are able to achieve long-term success.”

He says Snap gyms have a family feel and a personal touch.

The gyms are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with monitored access for safety. Snap has more than 1,500 locations nationwide.

The fitness centers offer cardio, personal training, weight-loss programs, a health center, strength training and Olympic lifting. An online web page for members offers nutrition counseling and an online training center.

“Our members are our greatest assets,” Nielsen added. “We do all we can to make sure they have not only the best facility and equipment, but a wonderful experience.”

Snap Fitness


Milwaukie: 4200 SE King Rd.


Oregon City: 19703 S. Hwy. 213, Ste. 170


Canby: 1109 SW 1st Ave.


Brought to you by John Sciarra - Bernard's Garage - AUTOMOTIVE INSIDER -

BERNARD'S GARAGE - John SciarraAfter nearly 100 years of providing excellent full-service automotive repair and maintenance, Bernard’s Garage is a classic Milwaukie institution trusted by generations of customers.

Founded in 1925, old timers and area residents still remember Joe Bernard Sr., who would design and build custom car parts when his customers’ vehicles needed it. Joe Bernard Jr., a former Milwaukie mayor, helped modernize Bernard’s and continued his father’s tradition of excellent customer service.

The current owner, Jim Bernard, another Milwaukie mayor and current Clackamas County commissioner, has computerized Bernard’s—turning his father’s mechanics into today’s technicians.

Besides providing free pickup and delivery, Bernard’s offers DEQ repair and adjustments, check-engine light diagnosis, manufacturer-scheduled maintenance, brakes, steering and suspension repair, timing belt tune-ups, radiator and water pump work, as well as engine, transmission and air conditioning service.

“We are straight shooters and will let you know what the problem is and what the cost is upfront,” Operations Manager John Sciarra says.

Sciarra, an 18 year veteran of Bernard’s, has attained numerous specialty vehicle class certifications. With 26 years in the industry overall, Sciarra is our INSIDER for automotive excellence.

Bernard’s Garage is a 17-year-long supporter of the Milwaukie Farmers Market, a Milwaukie First Friday participant and frequently donates to the Annie Ross House, Milwaukie Senior Center and other local schools and events.

A member of the Clackamas County Chamber of Commerce since 1955, Bernard’s has been named Business of the Year twice since 2000, and has received the BRAG award from the county for practicing responsible recycling and waste management.

Bernard's Garage 

2036 SE Washington St, Milwaukie, OR.

(503) 659-7722


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Gladstone Public Library unleashes undead into city streets


Citizens of Gladstone — beware! The zombies are coming. The zombies are coming.

On Oct. 30, anyone age 12 and older is encouraged to don zombie attire and makeup, converge on the Gladstone Public Library, 135 E. Dartmouth St., gather into a group and, well ... lurch down Portland Avenue. by: PHOTO BY ELLEN SPITALERI - Al Tate, left, finds out the hard way that a lug wrench is not effective against zombies, as personified by Sean Lavadour.Spectators of all ages are welcome to cheer on the hordes of undead.

by: PHOTO BY ELLEN SPITALERI - Sean Lavadour, Gladstone Library assistant, wants residents to find their inner zombie and lurch along with him on Oct. 30.The event will begin around 5:30 p.m., and participants should arrive in costume. A limited amount of makeup will be available at the library. Afterward, “light blood and guts and red fruit punch” will be served, said Irene Green, the new library director who is working to upgrade library services for kids.

The movie, “Warm Bodies,” based on the Isaac Marion novel of the same name, will be shown at the library after the zombie walk. Described as a “paranormal romantic comedy,” the PG-13 movie is told from the zombie perspective and is unusual in that “love brings them back to life,” said Sean Lavadour, library assistant.

Why does a library want to host a zombie walk?

Green wants to attract more teens to the library, so she is planning one teen-centric activity per month, and the walk is the event for October.

Green browsed the Internet for ideas and came across other zombie walks, hosted by other libraries around the country, and thought it was a good fit.

“I came from a library system in Maryland, and I know if you want to get teens to come to the library, you need to think outside the box,” she said.

And the timing is right, noted both Green and Lavadour, since a large number of television shows, movies and computer games feature the brain-devouring creatures.

As for proper attire for the zombie walk, Green recommends ripped clothing, while Lavadour pointed out that participants should just “wear street clothes, because that is what you would have been wearing when you were infected.”

He added, “It’s the makeup that makes the zombie.”

Lavadour speaks from experience, since last week he spent nearly four hours in the makeup chair, while a friend created a zombie look for him.

“He threw on layer after layer of makeup, starting with latex and tissue paper. He put a piece of skull on my face and put makeup on that to create a wound, and then he used really thick red gel for the blood — the same thing film companies use,” Lavadour said.

Luckily, the entire eerie “mask” peeled right off in minutes, although there was a certain amount of face washing that followed.

by: PHOTO BY ELLEN SPITALERI - After nearly four hours in the make-up chair, library assistant Sean Lavadour is ready to put fear in the hearts of Gladstone residents.Lavadour has a theory about the current fascination with zombies, saying, “People have been preaching the end of the world for years, and we’re kind of morbid. We want to see a zombie apocalypse.”

Wild about books

John Wetten Elementary School students are also reaching their local library in a new way through their “Wild About Books” program, sponsored by the Gladstone Public Library Foundation.

This year’s five second-grade classrooms headed to Gladstone’s library earlier this month for story time and got to pick out a nonfiction animal book to keep after a tour of the library. The children also learned about library cards so they can return to the library and visit with their families.

“Our second graders were very amazed and excited to see all of the different tools and resources that are available to them through the Gladstone Public Library — for free,” said teacher Cathy Pheil. “Students loved the book that they each selected and were able to take home and keep. We all look forward to further collaborations.”

The second-grade curriculum focuses on animals, a topic 7 year olds love. The school year will culminate in a field trip to the Oregon Zoo in spring.

“We wanted to introduce the students to the library in a memorable way,” Green said. “It’s nice that the school is interested in this project. We hope to plan even more partnerships that will benefit Gladstone’s children and support early literacy.”


What: Gladstone’s Zombie Walk

When: 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Oct. 30

Where: Gather at Gladstone Public Library, 135 E. Dartmouth St.

Details: The walk is for ages 12 and up. Spectators of all ages are welcome. Participants should arrive in costume and makeup.

Extras: After the walk, light refreshments will be served and the movie “Warm Bodies” will be screened at the library.

Contact: For more information, call the library at 503-656-2411.